The Canadian Press
TORONTO–These are the nights that are the painful part of the rebuilding process for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The nights when the youngsters make errors, the bats are quiet, and there is little energy at Rogers Centre.
The Minnesota Twins took full advantage yesterday evening, belting three homers in an 8-0 rout. Martin Perez combined with two relievers on a three-hit shutout to hand the Blue Jays their sixth loss in seven games.
Perez struck out nine batters and refused to let Toronto build any momentum.
Jason Castro, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco went deep for the Twins (21-12), who outhit the Blue Jays 12-3 and were in control from the start.
Toronto starter Marcus Stroman was touched up for five earned runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. His earned-run average jumped to 2.96 from 2.20.
Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoyo was tossed in the fifth inning after disputing umpire Adam Hamari’s called third strike to Brandon Drury.
It was Montoyo’s first ejection of the season.
It didn’t spark the Blue Jays (15-20), who were shut out for the third time this season and fell to 7-9 at home.
Some of the younger players in the Toronto lineup are getting consistent reps this season and the growing pains are quite evident at times.
Blue Jays left-fielder Teoscar Hernandez, in his second season as a full-time player, misplayed a Jonathan Schoop liner in the second inning. Castro took the next pitch deep for his fourth homer of the season.
Rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., flubbed a grounder an inning later, Toronto’s second error of the night. He made another miscue later in the game and struck out twice on an 0-for-3 night.
Toronto has shown flashes of solid play over the first five weeks of the regular season. But last week’s 1-5 road trip was ugly at times and the team had little zip yesterday in the opener of a six-game homestand.
Freddy Galvis stroked Toronto’s first hit of the game in the fourth inning and Justin Smoak walked ahead of Guerrero, briefly stirring the announced crowd of 12,292.
But the 20-year-old–now batting .152 on the season–grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Perez (5-0) allowed two hits and two walks over his 102-pitch outing. Relievers Ryne Harper and Matt Magill worked an inning apiece.
The Blue Jays will get an off-day Thursday before completing their six-game homestand with a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox.
In other AL action yesterday, the White Sox crushed the Indians 9-1; the Yankees cruised past the Mariners 7-3; the Orioles defeated the Red Sox 4-1; and the Astros topped the Royals 6-4. The Rays blasted the Diamondbacks 12-1 in the lone interleague matchup.
Over in the NL, the Reds soared over the Giants 12-4; the Brewers nipped the Nationals 5-3; the Cardinals blanked the Phillies 6-0; the Marlins edged the Cubs 6-5; the Dodgers topped the Braves 5-3; and the Padres shut out the Mets 4-0.